The beginning of the year is a time of motivation, inspiration, and hope for all of what the next 365 days can hold. It’s the time of the year when people commit themselves to change and to new ideas and opportunities. Wether it’s starting a blog, creating a side hustle, or so many other exciting possibilities, there’s a moment of inspiration that needs to be followed up with action. But where to begin?
I know too many people who have had great ideas and then not taken the time to formulate those in to action. Too many times people have inspiration and momentum, but don’t take the time to hash out all the details. Here’s some steps that you need to follow if you have a great idea that you want to get rolling on.
Brainstorm Your Idea
I’m obsessed with mind-maps and messy notes. Write down every little thing that could possibly be included and try to answer every possible question. Brainstorm all possible ideas, avenues, and opportunities that may come with this little creative spark. Need some help? Try answering the following questions:
How is your idea different?
What is your niche?
Who will be your audience?
How will you serve them?
What’s the problem you are solving?
What’s the feel of your brand/idea?
What are some design details?
What is your inspiration for the project?
How will you deliver your idea?
Why do you want to do this?
Research Your Idea
Once you have spent some quality day-dreaming time imagining your perfect business, now it’s time to test it out in the real world. Research every possible thing in order to make sure that you’re fully prepared for your dreams.
My favorite way of researching is to first come up with a list of uncertainties, then break each one down to a separate note in Evernote under 1 common notebook (if you need some help on Evernote, read this post!) That way, once you find a new piece of information you want to remember, you have an organized way of separating it without it getting lost. Plus, in Evernote you can highlight, can font sizes/colors, make task buttons, add links and pictures, and a million more useful features for tasks just like this.
Need some ideas of what to research? Start here and when you think of something new, add a new note.
Your Audience // Who are they? What do they love? Where are they in life? What are their problems? What are their favorite social media platforms? Finding out info about your demographic and will help you figure out what problems you can solve and will define what you can do to serve them (Smart Passive Income Podcast Reference, check it out!)
Your Market // Who are the competitors in your market? What are the pro’s and con’s about how they do business? How can you do it better? Where are they located in terms of price, quality, and service? Learn about what you are up against and you can tackle anything.
Your Idea // Any patents? Is the market flooded? Do you need new technology? Can you do everything on your own or will you need help? Write down every step that it takes to bring your idea from start to finish. Take the time to fully understand the product/service you’re committing yourself to.
Setting Up Shop // How can you operate? Will you have issues with taxes? Do you need to set up an LLC? For this information I suggest checking out the small business association looking over all of their great resources, along with checking state and locally for all needed paperwork, licenses, permits, or anything else that’s relevant to your operation. *Also, if you’re serious and want to take it on full time, I would recommend taking some time to talk with an accountant to make sure you’re in the clear come tax season. Maybe even a lawyer too if your idea is complex or potentially risky.
I’m pretty sure this post contains more question marks than my entire site…feeling overwhelmed? Focus on one simple category at a time. Don’t try to find all the info at once on everything and research it all at once, that’s asking for a migraine and most likely a panic attack. Go category by category, and if you find something useful but unrelated to what ou’re currently looking up, copy the link and put it in the related category note.
You can do it, deep breaths!
Create Your Business Plan
Once you’ve done your research, now it’s time to start making solid decisions about what you will be doing with this new business or opportunity. It’s important to write down all of these major decisions, it will be your compass when you’re lost and a reference point when you’re struggling. Plus, if you need funding, backing, or support, it’s an organized and professional way to show what you’re about. There are a million references about business plan creation (I recommend SBA’s or Entrepreneur’s), but here are some musts you’ll need to include:
Strengths, Threats, Opportunities
Product or Service Line
How you’re coming to market
Management & Structure
Take Some Action
Prepping is 100% necessary, but what’s not necessary is procrastinating getting started by overloading yourself in too much data and research and confusion and fear and inevitably an embarrassing amount of puppy videos (we all know how that goes). At some point, you just need to TAKE ACTION! Start in some little way and get the ball rolling. Sign up for that website, reach out to a mentor, start writing, whatever it is, go for it.
The first step is the most crucial, difficult, and nerve-wracking one, but nothing is every perfect and you’ll never be completely ready. Not until you roll up your sleeves and get to work.
Need help getting an idea started? Let’s talk about it in the comments below or in my About/Contact page, I’d love to help you get things started!